Young children benefit from computational thinking skills by learning how to break down problems into manageable pieces, understand sequencing, and practicing how to give precise instructions. These are all important skills that will help them in other academic areas such as math and ELA, but also outside of the classroom.
Tools that are available for this age group are unique in that they specifically target pre-readers using icons and pictures rather than text. While there are many technologies and apps available to help teach early coding skills, use of technology it is NOT a requirement. There are many “unplugged” methods for teaching the same skills.
- Apps and websites for coding (for tablets and/or computers). Some have downloadable curriculum, such as ScratchJR and The Foos.
- Beebots: A simple programmable robot that can be programmed using on-board buttons.
- Code Studio Course 1 (Access through BPS Backpack to sync with your BPS account): Self-paced coding tutorials developed by code.org.
- KIBO robots from KinderLab Robotics: A programmable robot that uses wooden blocks for coding. KIBO curriculums are integrated with ELA and art.
- Unplugged activities (Example)
- Game Simulations using Starlogo Nova: StarLogo Nova is a programming environment that lets students and teachers create 3D games and simulations for understanding complex systems